Thanks for joining us as we listen in on the launch of Blue Origin’s 8th mission!
Couple of delays today, some thunderstorms reported (presuming weather is cause of delays and not technical)
We’re nearly at T-minus 10 minutes to launch – we’ll listen in and commentate when they go live.
To recap then, this is Blue Origin’s 8th flight, the previous mission including a new passenger – Mannequin Skywalker, who is making another appearance this time alongside some scientific equipment / research payloads, which is great opportunity for Blue Origin to monetise these launches.
On another previous mission, Blue Origin demonstrated the launch abort system, where if the booster starts blowing or there’s a malfunction with flight control system and it starts veering off, then the crew capsule can safely launch itself away from the main booster and can come down on parachutes- if all goes well.
This is in fact Blue Origin’s primary safety feature, whereas VG SS2 only has a feathering device to make sure you come down the right way after you come down from floating in space – it has no parachutes, recovery system, or separate eject-able module – you‘re in it and that’s it!
Back to Blue Origin, they are t-minus 10 now. The vehicle they’re testing is their third vehicle, the booster, so this is part of the effort to get cheap access to space, just like SpaceX are trying to do, but let’s not forget that Blue Origin did in fact beat SpaceX to get the first re-usable launch vehicle to land successfully – the previous SpaceX mission had some problems landing on their sea barges.
Blue Origin won that race and their second vehicle ran five missions. So whilst this is flight two of the new booster, it’s on vehicle three, so let’s keep an eye on that going forward.
Today Blue Origin are planning to go to 350 000 ft, higher than before, to achieve more g time, saying how high can we go, leaving booster to run a little bit longer, and of course they’ll have sensors on board to work all that out.
I think it’s their aim, that by the end of year, they send up more test launches before they start putting people on board – you’d think they put their own people on first this year before commercial launches maybe starting next year.
Let’s listen in at t-minus 7 minutes!